Magazine February 23, 2009, Issue

Poetry

French Prime Minister and Presidential candidate Edouard Balladur adjusts his scarf as he leaves the monastery on top of the Mont Saint-Michel, western France, April 1 (Reuters)

FEBRUARY

Some flaky kid gave me gravel for a grin,

I’m bundled up against the cold in a cast-off coat,

and the scarf — that’s a joke, am I right?

There’s nothing I can do but stand and wait.

That must be what the watch cap’s for,

and the shovel, too — to fill the empty hours,

or empty them of the whiteout my life has been.

God knows why, but I’m built to face the road

and across the way there’s another one like me.

She’s grinning like a lunatic, too,

and our skinny arms are stretching out,

our anthracite eyes burn with the desire

to rush into something nice and cold,

when …

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